Monday, December 31, 2007

Year End Review - Doofus Style

Rather than creating a self-serving tribute to myself by conjuring up blog posts from the past (that you didn't read in the first place or managed to erase from your mind thanks to advancements in psychiatric pharmaceuticals), I've decided to create a sentence using one word from each month's worth of posts. So, I bring you the year-end review 12-word sentence. Enjoy...

I (January 17, 2007)
have (February 5, 2007)
movies (March 31, 2007)
about (April 12, 2007)
stupid (May 8, 2007)
people (June 18, 2007)
cooking (July 29, 2007)
bacon (August 18, 2007)
with (September 20, 2007)
Elmo (October 20, 2007)
at (November 19, 2007)
Wal-mart. (December 24, 2007)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Me Get Words A Ward Trophy

TKT of Tappity Tappity gave me this very important award and I'm displaying it here for all to see and know my greatness. It be given to I for me's crazy good funky fresh word writing skills and all that.

Also, I'm s'posed to forward it on (i.e. to share the love) with five other people, but I'm not down wit dat so I'm not doing it. It's mine!!!!!


Snip and Snap on Adulthood

Last night we had the privilege of having one of our nieces stay the night to be with her cousin and best friend, Izzi. These to peas in a pod like to do a lot of things, but the one thing they do the most is talk. Talk. Talk. Talk. Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. It's actually quite cute and sometimes very endearing. In order to protect their privacy, we'll just refer to them as Snip and Snap. Early in the evening, Snip and Snap were talking about the freedom that comes with being an adult and it went something like this:

SNIP: When you turn 18 you're an adult and your parents can't tell you what to do anymore.
SNAP: Yes, I know, but they can still hug you.
SNAP: I know.
SNIP & SNAP: Heee, heee, heee, heee-hee.

(NOTE: If you're going to make a comment and use the real name of the cousin, I will not be able to publish it out of respect to the parents. Thanks.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas at the Doofus/Sniz Home

It's been a very nice day for us. We told the kids that we would not start with the gifts any earlier than 8:00 a.m. and our middle child opened up our door at EXACTLY 8:00 a.m. yelling, "It's time to open presents." Miss Sniz and I were both in a deep sleep, but we were happy to get up and enjoy the day ahead.

Gift giving was a very joyous time. The boy didn't get much as he and I used our gift resources (we both have birthdays in the fall) for an XBOX 360 in November. He still managed to get a cool sweatshirt and a nifty USB light for his XBOX. The highlight for both girls were some mp3 players that they are still listening to this evening. I was pleased to get a couple of shirts that I can wear to work. As for Mizz Sniz, it was the usual Christmas fare for her. It wouldn't be December 25th unless she got her case of Bud Light and a carton of Marlboros. Merry Christmas, sweetie. You've earned it!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Excuse Me, Sir...Do You Work Here?

If I am ever in just about any retail store by myself, I am often plagued by the following question, "Excuse me, you work here?" It happened just the other night when Miss Sniz and I were shopping at Meijer.

It's innocent enough, I guess. At least they're asking me if I work here before they start asking specific questions. On rare occasions, I'll have some lady ask me where she can find the muffin mix or the Muffin Man (ANSWER: Drury Lane) or the French Fried Onions.

So, why is it that I have this look about me that says, "This guy works here," to people? I used to think it was because I look young for my age. But even if that's true, it's not like these stores are exclusively filled with young whipper-snappers. Just walk into a Wal-mart sometime and you'll see what I mean.

The question is, what should I do about this? For years, I've been doing my best to avoid it. Even if I'm just running in to pick up a single item that I can easily carry around the store, I make it a point to grab a cart or at least one of those annoying shopping baskets that you can never figure out how to hold.

I'll also go out of my way to dress like I don't work here...or get what I'm saying. If you have the same problem (is there anyone else out there who can identify with this?), heed my advice and don't wear khakis and a plain red or blue shirt. This screams, "I'm an hourly employee!!!!" at places like Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mmart, Meijer, Lowes, etc. (NOTE: There's nothing wrong with working at any of these places. I did it in the past and I'd do it again. Honest work is honest work, folks.)

But lately, I've been trying to work up the courage to take a new approach. The next time some poor confused woman asks me, "Excuse me, you work here?" I want to say, "You betcha I do. What can I do for you?" And then I want to have a little fun.

"Where can I find the Chex Mix?"

"Chex Mix?!?!?!? We don't carry that any longer, ma'am--ever since the big explosion last year," will be my reply. When she looks even more confused, I'll just start crying and I'll run away from her as fast as I can.

Monday, December 17, 2007 than Albert Einstein

I've been blessed (or cursed) with the gift of wit. I can usually come up with stuff pretty quickly that turns out to be funny or mildly amusing (depending on your own personal perspective, I guess) and I don't even have to think about it. I think there is some sort of gene or birth defect that I inherited that causes this...and I think I've passed it onto my son.

However, I've learned that just because you have the gene, you still have to hone your skill. I think that's what my 14-year-old boy is doing right now. Unfortunately, he hones his skill by blurting out every thought that comes to his mind. He can then gauge just how effective each comment is and use that data for later. It's sort of like Pavlovian conditioning.

Anyway, he managed to come up with a good one the other day that our family has been repeating. It goes something like this. You're allowed to call anyone, "dumb." If they let it go, no big deal. You just got away with calling someone, "dumb" and that's fun. However, if they are upset in any way about being told they are, "dumb," you just add to it, " than Albert Einstein." Think about it. that's going to be true probably 99% of the time.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Skipping Church!!!!

That's right--we're rebels. We skipped church today. My son got to play his XBOX 360 with the new Halo 3 maps a lot earlier than he originally had planned. Miss Sniz and I just got up and had coffee. The girls watched secular television and saw commercials about toys. I'm wearing a hat because I didn't feel like taking a shower yet.

Did I mention that church was canceled this morning?

The truth is that we genuinely look forward to going to church on Sundays and this particular Sunday was our annual "Bringing Our Gifts To Jesus" service--our favorite of the year. Folks in the congregation can share by singing songs, dancing (as long as it's not a dance about a movie or playing cards--heh, heh), reading something, making a video, performing drama, etc. We even have one guy that usually does a science experiment that the kids love. When we found out that things were canceled this morning due to the snow, ice, wind and general nastiness, we were all very sad. One of my little girls cried for a long time because she was supposed to sing with her cousin (and wear a new dress).

But, what can I say. We're rebels. That's just how we roll.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Stop Driving Like An Idiot


And, just in case you have any questions as to whether or not I'm serious about this, let me quote Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite:

"Oh, I'm dead serious."

Ok America (and Canada), it's time to share the road like responsible adults. I'm going to push this pretty hard for a while. Call it a soapbox. Call it a lone voice in the wilderness. I don't care. Here goes...

I have about a 45-50 minute commute to work (one way) every day. I see the best and worst of the drivers that share the road with me. For the most part--it's the worst. I know that in the past, I've driven like an IDIOT--but I stopped. As a result, it's drastically reduced my stress level in the mornings, I'm saving a lot of money on gas, I doubt that I'll be getting many traffic tickets, and I'M SAFE (which makes other safe).

I'm asking the rest of you to join with me. I'm just sick and tired of dealing with it and I don't know what else to do. Join me. If you're not driving like an idiot now--great. Spread the word to others. If you are driving like an idiot, repent. We will forgive you. Stop driving like an idiot and share the joy with others.

Safer roads.
Saving money on gas.
Less stress.
An end to war and starvation*

*Ok, maybe those things won't end, but I think that the way we drive is a reflection of what's going on in our hearts. When your mission on the road is to get to wherever you're going as fast as possible--regardless of the other drivers in the road--you're reflecting just how selfish you are. My experience tells me that this selfishness will be reflected in the rest of the things you do.


(I'll update this list as I think of new things to add or you give me ideas)

1. Drive the Speed Limit - Yes. You heard me correctly. You don't have to speed. If you are constantly running late and "feel the need for speed" get your own fighter jet or, better yet, adjust your schedule accordingly. When you drive fast, it endangers others. In many cases, you also use more fuel when you drive fast.

2. Use the Right Lane - Speeding is speeding, so I'm not sure that the law will back you up on the "fast lane" notion we have in our country. However, it only makes sense to get into the right (as in "opposite of left") lane and allow the yay-hoos to go around you. If we work hard enough at this, there will be less yay-hoos to worry about.

3. STOP TAILGATING - Not only is it annoying, it's very dangerous. Note: I'm not talking about what you do when you arrive three hours before the start of a football game.

4. Don't Drive Angry - That's a quote from one of my favorite movies, Groundhog Day. If someone IS driving like an idiot, it's not your job to correct them. Let them go on their way.

5. Two Lane Round-a-Bouts Are Not Passing Opportunities
- This is a very specific one based on something that happened to me yesterday. The person who gets to the round-a-bout first should have the right to enter the round-a-bout first. Let him or her go and THEN you can enter.

6. Be Considerate - If you see someone using a turn signal because they need to get into your lane, see if there's a safe way that you can accommodate them. You'd like it if they did the same for you. Don't guard your place in line by speeding up. When you do that you're driving like an idiot.

7. Don't Cut
- This goes back to grade school, folks. You don't cut in line just because you can get away with it. Imagine that you're in the check out lane of a grocery store and you see a little space between two people ahead of you. Would you simply shove your way into the space with your cart and ignore the others around you? Sometimes, things happen and you have to find your way onto a lane (see #5). When that happens, use your signal and be considerate.

8. Consider Your Cell Phone Use
- I'm not convinced that using cell phones while on the road is flat out wrong for everyone. But you know who you are. If you cannot have a conversation and drive at the same time, pick just one thing to do and leave the rest of us alone. Like I said, you know who you are.

9. It's Not a Racetrack - If you're finding that your NASCAR viewing is affecting the way you drive, pick another sport. Actually, I'm an IndyCar guy, but I will not get into that here.

10. Obey Special Speed Zones - School Zones and Construction Zones are designed to keep people safe--not to tick you off. Slow down accordingly. Furthermore, when someone in front of you slows down to adhere to a special speed zone, don't get irate with them (you know who you are, angry man in the black truck from two days ago!). They're just obeying the law. You have no right to get upset with them.

11. Slow Down In Neighborhoods - You were a kid once. You may have kids now. They run around in the neighborhoods, so low down. Ok, look at it this way. Imagine how horrible you'd feel if you kid a kid with your car. For that reason alone, you should slow down.

That's it for now. I'm sure this is one of the longest posts I've ever written, but I'll keep adding to it as necessary. I'm serious about this and I think you should be, too. Spread the word. Send others to my stupid post to read it for themselves. Use the dumb graphic that I created (above). Start driving safely and courteously. It's worth it.

Here's the link to the page you are on (in case you cannot figure it out for yourself):

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Attention To Details

Have you noticed that people today just don't seem to care whether or not they spell proper nouns correctly--e.g. names, cities, streets, etc? However, you'd think that details like this would be important in some areas of retail. Let's say your company makes something that is then delivered directly to someone's home. If there's ONE THING you'd want to get right, it's the address--the numbers and the letters. Otherwise, you're not going to get there--even with the greatest GPS system on the market.

I was reminded of this today when one of my best pals handed me a receipt from a delivery made to his house. It took the delivery person quite a while to get there as he didn't know that my friend lived on AUTUMN Harvest Dr. and not what was written on the receipt (and in the words of Dave Berry, "I'm not making this up.")...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cheer Up, Miss Sniz

Today's blog entry goes out to my lovely wife, Miss Sniz who has been feeling a little down the past few days. If the sun would just peek out today (I cannot remember the last time we saw it here) that would make her very happy. Below are a few things that make her feel good. I love you, Miss Sniz!

Monday, December 10, 2007

This is How We Watch TV

Sometimes, you're really into a show that you're watching on TV--so much that you're not even paying attention to the fact that you're sitting in a very strange position...on the coffee table...when there's a perfectly useful couch only a foot away from your posterior.

NOTE: I wasn't trying to take a picture that would embarrass my daughter--hence the "oops" block. It's also a bit blurry, but I only had one chance to snap this image. I just thought it was interesting that she was in the living room, watching the television this way. Furthermore, it should go without saying that she was watching something wholesome, stimulating and educational.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Saying Goodbye to An Old Friend

Yesterday I said goodbye to an old friend. This buddy of mine was with me from my later days in elementary school all the way through high school when I got my license. For the past 16 years, this pal has hung out in the garage.

I had two bikes growing up as a kid. The first one was a Sears brand dirt bike. It was black and I rode the wheels off of it. At some point in the 4th or 5th grade, I saved up some money and bought this gently used (it was at the time) blue Schwinn from a friend of a friend. I trekked a ton of miles on it. I only wish I had an odometer on it to see just how many. In my mind, I would imagine that I put, literally, 10,000 miles on it. My ride from the old house to school was ten miles alone and then the ride to Jeff's (my best friend) was another five miles on top of that. Since I hung out at his house all the time, I was putting 30 mile round trips on that thing regularly. least, that's what I thought. Earlier this year I went back and looked up exactly how many MILES I was traveling to school. It turned out to be a little less than a half of a mile. That trip to Jeff's might have been a mile--maybe.

But who cares how many miles I put on this bike. It was a great bike. I kept it hanging in the garage of our new house from the time we moved in, convinced that someday I'd clean it up and give it the respect it deserved, but yesterday I finally threw it into the van and took it to Goodwill. I hope someone enjoys it.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Ask Izzi

Whenever anything in our house turns up missing, the first thing that we do, if at all possible, is ASK IZZI. Izzi is our youngest. It's not that she's the one who loses things and we're blaming her. She has this amazing ability to categorize where things are in her mind. Even if she doesn't immediately know where it is, she puts it in her cute little brain somewhere and, in many cases, finds whatever it is that we're looking for later. She's located missing school work, keys, glasses (not the kind you drink out of), remote controls, books, you name it.

So, I thought I'd open this up to anyone who reads my blog. If you've lost something (but not "That Lovin' Feelin'"), just ASK IZZI. I'll forward the request on to her and I'll give you her advice.

How can you resist?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Making the Most of Your Starbucks Visit

Okay, so I know that I dumped on Starbucks in my last post, but I genuinely like the place. They have become so big that they're an easy target these days, but I think they have a great product. With that in mind, I've developed a few tricks of the trade to make sure that you get the most of your Starbucks experience.

First, know your cup sizes. This has been discussed way too many times in popular media for me to attempt to be original, so I'll just state the facts:

Tall = Small
Grande = Medium
Venti = Large
Loco = 55 gallon drum

Starbucks Trick #1 - Just say, "No" to Loco
Don't order the "Loco" size unless you're really thirsty and have about five days worth of work you want to catch up on in just five hours (or, if you've given up sleep for lent).

Starbucks Trick #2 - Small Portion in Bigger Cup

If you like to add cream, milk, ice cubes, whatever--order a smaller size cup of coffee in a bigger glass. Believe it or not, the Starbucks people are ready for this trick. Otherwise, if you order a Tall cup of coffee, the Starbucks attendant might ask, "Would you like me to leave room for cream?" This can be translated as, "Would you like me to purposefully short you on your order so I can resell it to the next customer?" It's brilliant on their part, but you can easily get around this by saying, "I'd like a Tall cup of coffee in a Grande glass." Suddenly, you're a genius. Not only do you get all of the coffee you paid for, you're also getting a few extra cubic inches of paper coffee cup--at no cost!

Starbucks Trick #3 - Bigger Portion in Smaller Cup

Here's where it gets fun. Once you've proven to your local barista that you know your way around a cup of coffee with Starbucks Trick #2, you throw this one at them. Step up to the counter and say, "I'd like a Grande coffee in a Tall Cup" (i.e. I'd like a medium coffee in a small cup). Sure, you end up wasting about a half cup of coffee, but you get to watch Peppy pour it all over his hands while suffering only mild injuries that Starbucks' generous insurance premiums will cover. He'll be back behind the counter in six to eight weeks.

Bad Start to the Day

Today didn't start off too well. Every morning I get up and make French Press coffee for me and Miss Sniz. She pours hers. I pour mine, and then I take my cup with me in the car for my long commute. Well, today I managed to leave my steaming cup of perfection (yes, it's that good) at home and had to stop at Starbucks.

If I'm going to get coffee while I'm out, Starbucks is the one place I can usually count on for a good cup, prepared correctly (I'm a coffee snob). But today, things didn't go so well. The guy behind the counter was much too busy taking care of some microwaved "meal" for another customer to deal with me. So, this other fella steps up to the register to help out. First off, he was way too peppy--like he'd been freebasing the espresso or something. My Starbucks order (see the other post from today) is simple--I don't mess around much with fancy drinks. I like good coffee in a cup with some sugar in the raw and half-and-half. I knew that my coffee day wasn't going to get much better when I saw "Peppy" tipping the coffee machine at an angle to pour my cup. I went ahead and fixed it the way I liked and headed off to work. By the time I got down to the last quarter of the cup, I noticed that a thick black slurry of fine grounds had taken over my coffee. I'm not so "foo-foo" that I can't stand a ground or two in my java, but this bean paste was more than I could handle.

Final score COFFEE GREMLINS: 2 - ME: 0

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Ultimate Motivator?

We just purchased an XBOX 360 for my 14 year-old son and myself. It's also a combination birthday/Christmas gift. Anyway, we're realizing that this device can be a great motivational tool when it comes to doing school and housework correctly. As it turns out, our son CAN understand grammar when he actually takes the time to do it.

We'll see how that works out.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Magic Fries!!!

We got back from Thanksgiving dinner and we're sitting in the living room watching the Colts game when there was apparently some sort of disagreement between my two young daughters (ages 10 and 9). Since I was more interested in the football game than whatever it was that they were arguing about, I cannot say that I heard all of the details. However, I did hear my oldest daughter say this:

"There's nothing wrong with me not wanting to pretend that I have magic fries."

Monday, November 19, 2007


Someone at the office is trying to get rid of all of their extra Halloween candy by bringing it in and placing it in a bowl in the break room. Needless to say, it was as masterful plan. Anyway, I just grabbed a small box of DOTS. DOTS are made by the same company that makes Tootsie Rolls and you only see them at the movie theater or during Halloween. They are the sworn enemy of Jujy Fruits. Much like the beta fish, you never want to put the two next to one another...but I digress.

I picked up the mini-box of DOTS and opened it up to discover one...yes DOT. Doesn't the name imply that there should be at least two DOTS? What has gone wrong with the world? Imagine what the Jujy Fruits people are going to do when they get a hold of this information!!!!! You heard it here first.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Recognized for my efforts!!!

I see a lot of my fellow bloggers giving each other awards for various things. That's fine, but I've been wanting an award with real substance--something I can really get behind and feel proud about. That's why I came up with my own award (see right side of my blog screen).

But why keep this to myself when I can share it with the rest of the world. Feel free to give this award to yourself...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If you want to give credit to me for creating it, fine. If not, who cares. Give yourself an award--you deserve it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

New Feature - The Colt-o-meter

Last night my Colts played their worst game of the Tony Dungy era--perhaps even the worst game of the Payton Manning era. Manning threw 6 interceptions and Adam Vinatieri missed an easy field goal that would have given us the lead with a little over a minute to play. The only bright spot was that the praying-cursing linebacker featured on this blog just a few days ago, Clint Sessions, had two interceptions.

Here's the Colt-o-meter for this week.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Stinky McStinkface

Here's another great commercial...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Pre-Game Ritual

I'm a huge football fan and I live in the Indy metro area--so, yes, I'm a COLTS fan and I have been since they moved to our city back in the 80's. I usually get to one or two games a year. This year, I chose to go to the biggest regular season game in the history of professional football: Colts vs. Patriots (also billed as Super Bowl 41 1/2). Even if you're not a football fan, you probably heard about this one. It was huge...and we lost. In fact, it's embarrassing to admit how depressed I was for a few days following the game. Seriously, I should have other things to be concerned with.

Well, just yesterday I found something from the game that gave me a pretty good laugh. If you ever go to a Colts game, you'll get a free copy of Scout. It's their version of the event program and they actually hand it out freely (go figure). Anyway, I had the issue still sitting in my car and I decided to look through it some while I was eating lunch. When you're at the game, you only look at Scout to find out who someone is on one of teams, or how big they are, or where they went to college, or what position they play--you get the idea. But they also have articles and interviews with the team and cheerleaders (enlightening) in between all of the ads. I happened to open it up to an interview with rookie linebacker Clint Session who wears #55 for the blue and white. One of the questions they asked was what it is that he does before a game to get himself ready...

I do the same thing during my commute to work, but the bad words are usually directed at other motorists and I don't get to tackle them to the ground and get paid for it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

This Movie is About Cats Flying

Don't ask me how I found this. Honestly, I don't know. However, I can tell you that it has instantly become one of my favorite videos of all time. It's brilliant. It's about flying cats. We can all relate.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Meet me at my "Office" (wink, wink)

I didn't get a picture for this one, but believe me that it's true. Today I drove by a building that had the following written on top in big bold letters:


Why was "OFFICE" in quotes? Does that mean it's a cover-up for something else? If so, why would they make it so freaking obvious? If you were talking to a business associate and you told them to meet you at your "OFFICE" while making the quotation signs with your fingers, you'd get an odd look.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

You Deserve Nice Things

TLC is on quite a bit in our home and occasionally we're too lazy to change the channel when What Not To Wear comes on. Ok, I have to admit that sometimes we don't want to turn it off. It's mildly entertaining in the same way that watching a yak eating an entire bucket of KFC chicken is entertaining (I'm not sure what that means).

So, the other day the WNTW folks are poisoning the mind of helping this thirty-something year old mother of four by changing her entire wardrobe with the magic of a huge wad of cash (I think they give them $5000 to purchase clothes). While Clinton, the male co-host, is scolding this hardworking, good-spirited mom for settling for inexpensive, comfortable clothes he gives her this sage advice...(paraphrased)

"You're a mother of four and I know that means finances are tight, but you just have to tell yourself that you deserve nice things."

AMEN!!!! That's it. Americans are losing their houses to foreclosure like never before in this country and we continue to spend money that we don't have and fall into financial crisis. But if we can just remember that, "we deserve nice things" we'll be fine--and we'll look good to boot.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Stupid Transporters!!!!

This is an expression that has become common in our home as the wife and I watch recorded Star Trek episodes on the DVR. Currently, we're plowing our way through the Voyager series as we managed to miss most of the episodes when they originally aired.

You don't have to be a Star Trek nerd to know that the transporters allow people and things to teleport or beam from one place to another. "Stupid Transporters!" refers to the fact that the transporters never seem to work when they are needed the most. Although this tension forces the shows' characters into some interesting alternatives, it seems to happen way too often. Perhaps it's no different than when the car breaks down or the refrigerator stops working here on earth.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

"comment deleted"

If you've been blogging for any length of time now, you've probably seen this message. Perhaps you've seen it on the comment section of someone else's blog or you've had to delete comments on your own blog. There are lots of good reasons to delete a comment. It could be something that's outdated, incorrect, illegible or just plain rude.

However, I'm curious as to why the creators of blogspot decided to take care of the problem this way. If you delete a comment, it should just be gone without any trace. Why do have to see the "comment deleted" notice? That would be like reading a book and suddenly you get to a page where there's a big note from the author that says something like, "I was going to go in a completely different direction here, but then I changed my mind. Keep reading." Or, "My stupid editor didn't like this part, so I had to take it in a different direction." Or even, "I don't know what I was thinking when I originally wrote this part. It was really stupid. I should probably cut back on all the cough syrup in the morning."

It seems pointless to keep this everlasting reminder of a comment that wasn't good enough or sensitive enough to remain on the blog. I say this as someone who has deleted comments and who has had his comments deleted (both justifiably). But, I must say that I'm curious to know about some comments that you've had to delete. So, if you're a blogger, let me know by leaving me a comment. You might have to be creative in how you tell your story so that I don't have to delete it and thus leave that eternal reminder that your comment was not ready for prime time.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Talking Animals Again

The other day the wife convinced me that we should record the new version of The Shaggy Dog for the kids. I was reluctant as I was sure this movie was too silly (in the trivial way) for anyone to watch--let alone like. But I have to admit...this movie falls into the "guilty pleasure" category for me. Plus, I set myself up for this a few days ago and I have a history of liking movies like this (e.g. Homeward Bound). So...there. I've said it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fortune Cookies

Guess what? I'm not the only male who blogs. Thanks to my wife's widely successful blog, I've found others like Tappity Tappity who recently shared about how he was inspired by a fortune cookie.

It reminded me of one of my favorite jokes from Gary Shandling. Whenever I'm at a Chinese restaurant eating a fortune cookie I look down at the fortune with a strange expression on my face until someone asks me what it says. I look up and say,

"It's hand-written. And it says, I peed in your rice."

It gets a laugh every time.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Baby! Baby!

If you want to understand my sense of humor (most of you have better things to do, but as long as you're reading my blog--why not?), watch this new commercial from Jeep:

If you had trouble making it out, go HERE and click on the little banner that looks like this:

There are several successful elements in this commercial that make it work for me:

  1. Talking animals
  2. Singing animals (but not the kind you see on the flea and tick collar commercials)
  3. A Neil Diamond song (fun and cheesy at the same time)
  4. Animals attempting to eat other animals
  5. The look on the guy's face when the wolf chomps one of the singing birds
  6. The wolf's first singing line, "Baby! Baby!"
It's the wolf that really makes the spot work for me.

Of course, I have no intention of buying a Jeep, but I love being entertained in sixty second increments.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

From the Boom Operator of...

Sniz and I took in a rare movie the other day. We managed to miss some of the coming attractions, but I was struck by the fact that two of the trailers (which aired back to back) were billed as having some sort of link to the same movie:

P.S. I Love You - "From the producer of The Devil Wears Prada"
27 Dresses - "From the screenwriter of The Devil Wears Prada"

I don't ever recall seeing...

"From the Gaffer of The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland"
"From the Foley Artist of Ishtar"
"From the Next Door Neighbor of the Key Grip of Gigli"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Congratulation Barb!!!!

Just up the street from my office is one of the 3,000 (give or take a few) Burger King restaurants in our metropolitan area. Yesterday the sign on the store said...

I've been pondering the significance of this sign for quite a while now (I have a long commute). Did Barb have something to do with the return of the Italian Chicken or is Barb just a big fan of the Italian Chicken. And who is Barb? Moreover, what or who is the Italian Chicken?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Donut Shop - After Hours

I have a secret to admit. Sometimes, on my way into work, I stop off at my favorite donut shop for a morning snack. It's a local place. The kind of place you feel good about supporting (which nearly neutralize the guilt associated with eating so many donuts).

Well, one day I was driving by that same donut shop on the way home from work. It was around 5:45 in the evening and I noticed that the "Open" sign was still lit up on the door. I looked at the door and, sure enough, they're open until 6:00 p.m. every week day! I had no idea they were open so late. Suddenly, there were new possibilities in my life. The only thing better than a secret pre-work donut would be a secret after-work donut--right?

So, I walk in and notice the only other person in the shop besides me is an employee who is standing behind the cash register. I looked down into the glass covered shelves where the donuts are kept to see that there is not a single one on display.

", don't have any donuts now, do you?" I ask...or state (I'm not sure).

"No, not this late," replies the donut lady.

Of course not! I think to myself and awkwardly walk out of the store. But, for the life of me, I cannot figure out WHY the store was still open.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Googins Online

Oohvahlappy (Uvulapie) is responsible for this. I give him full credit. He deserves it. He recently had to add a user by the name of "Googins" to his client list. This may be the funniest name ever. I might have thought he was making it up until I decided to search for "googins" on google (hey, there's an interesting similarity there...but I digress).

1. Googins & Anton - Financial Planners

"Your goals...Your dreams...Your priorities...Your googins.

2. Where Googins Families Lived in the US Since 1920

If you want to escape from the Googins, your best bet is to head west. But whatever you do, DON'T GO TO MAINE BECAUSE THAT PLACE IS CRAWLING WITH GOOGINS!!!

3. Honey, I "stumbled upon" a googins today.

Either Googins isn't being completely honest or he's still holding out for puberty.

4. Googins Lodge!

This is great because it finally brings together "Googins" and "Lemuel". Imagine the fun you'll have inside.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Office Candy Kid Scheme of 2007

Today while standing in Dave's doorway at work (he's our President) I was a firsthand witness of what I'm calling The Office Candy Kid Scheme of 2007. This little boy of 10 years (my guess) walks in the front door and makes a bee-line for me and Dave, who is sitting at our desk. Now, I know my co-workers pretty well, but I don't know what all of their kids look like. So, I'm thinking this must be Dave's kid--even though I was pretty sure his sons were in college (you never know). As it turns out, Dave thought the boy was mine. Anyway, he stops in front of us and begins to speak very loudly, "WOULD YOU LIKE TO BUY A BOX OF CANDY TO SUPPORT MY SCHOOL. WE'RE SELLING...(blah, blah, blah--you've heard the pitch)."

That's when I noticed the boxes of candy in his hand. You know the kind I'm taking about. You pay five to ten dollars for a small box of tasteless, waxy chocolate. I politely told him we were not interested and expected him to leave. However, he started to head to Dan's office to give the same pitch. I stopped him before he could go any further and politely told him that no one in our office was interested and that he should go ahead and hit the next place.

He turned around and headed for the door. But on his way out, he stopped and noticed something out of the corner of his eye. This is where I'll let the video (no audio) tell the story a bit...

As you can see, we keep some candy in our office to munch on throughout the day. There's no audio on the video, but you're not missing anything. He never bothered to ask. On his way out, he decided to help himself to several pieces of our candy!!!!! How ironic!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Beware of this book...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

There's something about it that just looks suspicious. I can't put my finger on it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Technical Reminders of Lonliness

I looked at my YouTube account today and was reminded of just how much of a loser I really am.
Do I really need the Internet to remind me of this?

Monday, October 1, 2007

A REAL Church Bulletin Blooper

I'm sure many of you have seen the collection of church bulletin bloopers (i.e. typos) that have been circulating the Internet for years. In case you haven't, here's a quick example of what I'm talking about:

"For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs."

"Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help."

"Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack's sermons."

These bloopers have been floating around so long that it's hard to tell if they are real or not. But yesterday, we had a REAL ZINGER of a blooper in our own church bulletin. I'm not making this one up:

"Continue to pray for John B. John had a tree fall on him a few weeks ago, and his keg was broken in two places."

Of course, we're all heartbroken for John, whose keg was broken. But maybe it was an act of God. It's one thing to keep a few beers in the fridge (only for use in cooking, of course) but having your own keg is another issue.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

New Home Construction

Our kids like to build houses out of shoe boxes. Typically, they find a box and get inspired to create. This often leads to "homes" with multiple rooms, connected together with tape, staples or whatever fastening device or adhesive substance they can get their hands on.

These dwellings are a great place for their little "friends" to hang out. Polly Pockets and little plastic animals are right at home.

It usually starts with an empty box and a request, "Daddy," my 8-year-old girl asked me this morning. "Can you cut a hole in this for the door?"

"Sure, sweetie," I said as I grabbed the box. In order to gain a head start on this project, she painted the inside--lavender. I know this because that's what color my hand was after grabbing it.

"Be careful," she added while the box was already in my hands. "I just painted it and the box may still be a little wet."

Friday, September 28, 2007

Being Told vs. Being Asked

I bought these tickets several months ago. That's not like me, but for once I planned ahead.

It was the end of a LOOOONNNNNNGGGGG week at a trade show and I was looking forward to getting home.

I picked a window seat because I prefer to be sedentary on flights (i.e. I don't get up during flights and I don't enjoy getting up for others--sue me!).

So, when I walked up to seat 14F only to discover that an 60-ish foreign woman was there, I kindly told her that she was in the wrong seat and held up my boarding pass. It happens all the time. No big deal. She'd move and I'd be able to sit by butt down for the +3-hour flight home.

But that's when her husband (also foreign, but it doesn't matter) stood up. "I sit next to my wife. You sit here," as he pointed to the MIDDLE (yes, MIDDLE) seat in row 13 (13E, to be precise).

So, what was I supposed to do. Surely, I wouldn't demand that I get the seat I picked out nearly six months ago. The plane was full. I'd feel like an [HEE-HAWWWWWW!!!!] if I did that. But if I were in the same situation, I think that I'd go to my original seat and then ask someone if they were willing to trade. That's the way to do it--right?

It wasn't that bad. No one in my row needed to get up the entire time. However, I forgot my book that I was reading and ended up practically memorizing the Thursday edition of the USA Today. I even did the crossword puzzle.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What you see in the drug store

For those of you that don't know, I'm on the road this week for business. So, please excuse the lack of entries. However, this morning I saw something that I simply had to share. At the CVS (that's a drug store) I saw a woman buying two things at the checkout lane: Nicorette (a gum that helps you quit smoking) and Marlboro Lights. I was just wondering if she figured out a way for these two products to neutralize one another?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Couple of Random Thoughts From Watching TV

The wife and I sat in front of the tube this evening to watch some mindless TV (yes, we do that). I noticed a couple of things that I thought I'd share with you all:

When the first line of a commercial is, "Hello, cleavage!" look the other way or hit the pause button (if you have a DVR) so you can skip it.

ER is getting ready to start it's 14th season. Why?

A Visit From A Holy Lady

Just a couple nights ago, while the wife and I were laying in bed we heard our 13-year-old son walk in the house and scream like a girl. The only time he screams like a girl is when he sees a bug (He gets this from his mother, but the rest of the story is a bit surprising if you know her).

Unless you ignored the image on your screen, you've been able to deduce that we had a rather large praying mantis in the house. In fact, she (I'm just assuming it was a girl as the males don't survive after mating) must have flown in to get a better look at our family as she was admiring some of our pictures on the wall.

Now, if you know my wife, then you know she's not all that fond of bugs. While the 13-year-old would have NOTHING to do with prompting our holy green friend to leave, the Mrs. sprung into action. She was like a different person. Here she was with a box, calmly trying to coax the mantis into it so she could show her the door.

"You're horrified of bugs," I said.

"I'm not scared of a praying mantis," she replied.

Apparently, there are certain bugs which strike fear into her heart and cause her to nearly drive off the road while others solicit no reaction from her at all. I'm thinking of putting together a list.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Great T-Shirt Streak of 2007

This is MY side of the story. You can read HER side here.

We have friends that sometimes give us tickets to Indianapolis Indians games. This is a AAA minor league baseball team that feeds into the Pittsburgh Pirates. Honestly, I feel bad for the guys who do well here in Indy as it means they may get called up and have to play for the Pirates--but that's another story.

This post is about an amazing streak I have of getting free t-shirts at these games. At just about every game, they do a t-shirt giveaway between innings. While the teams are coming off the field, the announcer comes on the P.A. system to let everyone know that the shirts are going to start flying and immediately people begin screaming as if they didn't actually own clothes. I'm pretty sure they could throw out free hunks of dirt and folks would get just as excited.

Such was the case when we went to a game in late July. I stood up like everyone else and the nice lady who handles all of the Indians between inning activities sort of glanced my way and tossed me a shirt as if to say, "That poor fella needs new clothes." It was obviously a leftover shirt from some walk-a-thon or something as it had nothing to do with the baseball team and they didn't mention it when they were throwing them out. But I think it was the first time that I've ever gotten a free shirt, so it sort of made my day.

A month later we returned for another game with some friends guessed it...another t-shirt. This time it was an actual Indianapolis Indians shirt with the logo on the front and the 2007 schedule on the back. Very cool. The same lady looked at me and threw it directly my way. Was this odd? Read on.

So, we managed to go to the second-to-last home game with more friends. I made a joke to them that I had a streak going of two games in a row with free t-shirts. Seconds later (I'm not exaggerating) the t-shirt giveaway starts up again. I stand up, almost reluctantly as my wife and friends stare at me. Immediately, she walks out onto the field with shirts in hand and looks my way. The next thing I know, I'm holding a spiffy Chipotle shirt in my hands.

Did I mention that every shirt was just my size? Should I send her a Christmas card? Do the wife and I require some sort of counseling?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What's your favorite song about the Pancreas?

If you're a music lover and a big fan of the pancreas, you have lots of choices available to you. You don't have to settle for one or even two songs devoted exclusively to that mysterious organ.

If you're an iTunes user, you can choose from the following:

  • "Pancreas" - by Weird Al Yankovic (from the album Straight Outta Lynwood)
  • "Pancreas"* - by Mindless Drug Hoover (from the album Top Banana)
  • "Fiddycent Ate His Own Pancreas"* - by Killjoy vs. Enduser (from the album It's Incredibly Retail)
  • "The Happy Pancreas" - Sam Crain & Friends (from the album Jazz Guitar Vol. 3)
There's even an album called I Am John's Pancreas by a band called A Witness.

A quick MySpace music search reveals these results:
  • "That Pancreas"** - by PANCREAS THAT!
  • "We are Pancreas"** - by the death metal band called Pancreas
  • A band called Pancreas and the Checkered Rectum**
  • A band called Pancreas Music**
  • Another band called Pancreas (they should get together)
  • A band called Pancreas Records***
But my all-time favorite song about the pancreas is "Pancreas" by Heywood Banks:

Go here to listen to it.

*Labeled as "EXPLICIT" on iTunes. Listen at your own risk.
**No Labels on MySpace for lyrics, but I recommend that you tread carefully around these parts.
***I cannot even figure out what these guys are saying.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Making Your Own Pope Hat

Judy the Rebel got me thinking about some of the stunts that I've pulled in my life that have gotten me into hot water (Actually that's an odd expression if you think about it. The only time that I'm in hot water is in the bathtub or a whirlpool--which is usually a good thing.)

In a former life, I was the youth director of a small church in northeastern Indiana. One day, me and two other folks (one was--still is--a friend and the other was a youth group kid) were hanging out at the church just for fun when one of us discovered a cool way to make a Pope hat out of some cardboard and markers. Don't ask me, "why?" we did this. It just happened--like that time when Edison was watching TV and came up with the idea for the light bulb.

Anyway, this great idea turned into a brief video concept which consisted of one guy playing the Pope and another guy playing a heckler. You just don't see a lot of heckling at Pope events, so we thought it would be humorous--and it least to the three of us who made the video. The Elders of the church didn't think it all that funny and I received a severe wrist slapping along with a recommendation that I not make any more videos at the church without screening them to the leadership first.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hello New Zealand!

According to my FEEDJIT tracker on the right column of my blog, I've had someone from New Zealand stop by. Whoever you are, feel free to leave a comment.

I've also been able to use a top secret tracker to determine than most of the men who read my blog are wearing their pants inside out on their head. How strange.

Eliminating Fruit Flies...and Owls

During our recent week-long trip to Lake Michigan, we had quite a few issues with bugs. When the winds died down, there were many mosquitoes. The biting flies were legendary. They left giant welts on the back of my 8-year-old daughter (who must be allergic to bites) and at one time a hundred of them swarmed me while I tried to read at the beach. Inside the house, we had to deal with those annoying little fruit flies that land in your food. They seemed to camp out by the sink and tried to get into anything in the kitchen. They were so annoying that my brother-in-law went online and came up with a way to eliminate them with a home made trap. I don't remember all of the details, but I'm pretty sure it involved an empty Pringles can, some soap and water, and a permanent marker used to write "Fly Trap" on the can. It managed to catch a few flies here and there.

Not wishing to be outdone, I created an "Owl Trap". While we were still pestered by those stupid little fruit flies throughout the week, I can proudly say that we remained owl free for the duration of our vacation.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Golden Girls

Nope. I'm not referring to the television sitcom from the mid 80's featuring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty. Believe it or not, I'm going to be serious for a few moments.

I'm blonde and I married a blonde. As a result, we have three more blondies running around the house. So, three of the five blondes in our house are girls. While they can all be very different from one another, they share more than their GOLDEN hair. They are compassionate, loyal and require lots of watering and sunshine--how do you think they got so golden? I could go on an on about this, but I won't.

I simply want to share about my own little blunder last night and how much one of my little golden girls was waiting on me, loyally, for what she needed. I let her stay up a bit late to watch a movie and gave her my word that I'd tuck her in when it was over. Not wanting me to forget, she called up for me when the movie was over. About a half hour later, she came downstairs to check on me as I still hadn't tucked her in. I was in the middle of a very important project (not really--but that's how I made it sound) and told her to just be patient and that I'd be up. Two hours later I looked up at the clock--finished with my stupid project--and realized what I had done. I ran upstairs to see if I still had a chance to kiss her good night and pray with her.

The door was closed, but the light was still on. I quietly walked in to see her lying in bed, asleep with the light on and with her fan off. All of my kids sleep with a fan. I'm certain she didn't turn it on because she wanted to wait for me--which also explains why the light was on. She waited as long as she could until her eyelids gave out on her and she dozed off. I had let her down. I turned on her fan, flicked off the light and kissed her forehead. She woke up, startled at first, and then smiled at me while telling me how sleepy she felt. She probably didn't know that she had been waiting there for me, asleep, for two hours. I was forgiven. In fact, I'm not even sure that she was ever upset with me. But I knew that I had blown it.

She's probably willing to go through the process all over again, but every time she'll grow a little more weary. Eventually, she'll grow up, move out and lose the felt need for a daddy altogether. But not if there's anything I can do about it.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The return of the goatee

The other day I decided to start growing the old goatee again. I successfully had something that resembles a goatee last year when I refused to shave for a few weeks and then shaved everything off except the place where this weird little beard is supposed to be. Most "manly" men that I know can grow a full beard in their sleep or just before dinner time.

For me, it takes months of patient growth and people asking me, "what's that on your face?" My facial hair grows very slowly and selectively--missing a few key areas required by goatee enthusiasts (I just made that term up). However, if I don't clip them off religiously two or three times a day, I can have a full set of antlers before sundown.

Take this picture, for instance, of me in San Diego a few months ago. It would have been such a nice picture if not for the antlers. The only good thing about being able to grow antlers is that it provides a regular source of income with the local taxidermist. Wish me luck on the goatee.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Citizen's Arrest! Citizen's Arrest! Sort of.

The other day I had visions of Gomer Pyle screaming, "Citizen's Arrest! Citizen's Arrest!" at me while I was driving the wife and kids down the road in the family truckster. As I looked into the driver's side rear view mirror (our real rear view mirror fell off the window a few weeks ago and I've yet to fix it), I noticed a snappy white SUV pulling up on my bumper and waving at me to pull over. Of course, I thought of all kinds of reasons why I shouldn't let a complete stranger pull me over, but I did it anyway. Usually, when other drivers are upset with you, they just give you the old "one-finger salute" (also referenced in this blog as the "you're number one!" gesture). So, I figured that there was probably something wrong with my van or that I might have been dragging a dog on a leash for the last several miles (that's my second reference to the movie Vacation). This feller and I would resort to some manly talk about vehicles, oil, grease, tools or some other masculine subject while the women-folk and kids stayed in the trucksters.


As soon as I reached for the door handle, I figured out WHY he was waving me over. For the past few days, there was something sitting on the bumper of the mini-van. Every time I looked at it, I just assumed that one of the kids would take care of it and surely we wouldn't drive off with it still there. Besides that, it would fall off somewhere and I could care less.


As I was walking to the back of the car to meet this stranger at the bumper it seemed as if every step was in slow motion. I kept my head low and stared at the ground. I couldn't bear to make eye contact with this guy. I turned the corner at the back of the van and looked up at the bumper to see my hunch revealed. Still sitting--just as the kids left it--on the bumper of the van was a cute little pink bag with a red heart...

And inside that cute little pink bag with the red heart sat six little bouncy balls...

I waived off Mr. Pyle (although I was the one feeling like a "gomer" at this point) and told him I knew what it was and thanked him for pointing it out--we sure wouldn't want to lose all of those bouncy balls.

Even though it's not her fault, I've decided to blame this blow to my masculinity on Aunt Leah, the Bouncy Ball Fairy.

Monday, August 20, 2007

"Hot Feeling" from The Daily Journal

While I cannot come up with anything original today, I can share something that I wrote over a year ago on another site:

May 17, 2006 We had a Japanese client visit our office for a few days and one of my jobs was to take him out to eat a few times. We visited my favorite Thai restaurant in town and had some VERY SPICY dishes. The next morning he approached me and said, "I had a very hot feeling in the toilet this morning
This was NOT made up, by the way.

FYI - "The Daily Journal" was my original "blog". It was created by Uvulapie, who allowed me and scott to be regular contributors.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Classic Quote from Miss Sniz

Yesterday the wife (aka "Miss Sniz") and I were doing some shopping at Costco when she made the most interesting observation. She's a big fan of croutons and we were considering whether or not to throw down the big bucks for a month's supply of stale bread. But this is not a decision that should be made willy nilly. In fact, as she put it:

"There are a lot of flavorless croutons out there."
That made the decision so easy. We put the big box down and made our way through the rest of the store and eventually the check out lane. However, on the way home, we second-guessed our choice to pass up the Big 'Ol One Pound Pack 'O Bacon. What were we thinking?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Slow News Day?

First off, I have to admit that I'm blatantly stealing this idea from a friend. In fact, it's the same friend who had me as his Best Man in his wedding just a few weeks ago.

Just yesterday he pointed out that it must have been a slow news day for our local Indianapolis Star. Here's the proof:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Making My Mistakes Interesting

We've been trapped (sort of) in our addition for the past three months due to the construction of a round-a-bout at a busy corner in our bustling bedroom community. Well, last night I heard that our corner had been re-opened. How could I pass up the opportunity to drive on it this morning during my regular commute? Right? At this point in the story, I should point out that all of the stupid road closings in our area have forced me to find new routes to work--and I've actually found one that I'll probably keep on using even when they DO finish up all of the construction around me.

But, as I said, I couldn't resist the opportunity to roll my wheels along the fresh pavement. I decided to try one of older get-to-work passages and stop for coffee at $tarbuck$ along the way (a treat I rarely allow myself these days). This particular route used to be one that I took every day, even in the midst of the Super 70 construction. The Super 70 project along I-70 continues, but they've finished one side of the interstate and have moved traffic to the new lanes. Being a creature of habit (even though I haven't taken this route in a while) I just kept driving. By the time that I figured out what I had done, I had to wait another 6 miles until I could turn around at an exit. I estimated that I drove 8-10 miles out of my way and there was nothing I could do about it.

Sometimes, we make mistakes that don't seem to have any consequences (they all do, but that's another blog entry). Other times (like today) we make mistakes and we have to go way out of our way to get things straightened out--and by that time there are plenty of consequences to deal with--like being really late for work.

As I look back and read this entry, it's not all that interesting, so I'm going to ask my faithful readers to finish it and/or embellish it. Have at it...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Finally, an AFFORDABLE Rocket Belt

This morning I got my daily tech news update that I subscribe to and found out about a new Rocket Belt available from the good folks at TAM. Perhaps my favorite part of the web page is how TAM tries to steer potential customers away from those OTHER rocket belt alternatives on the market:

"Be aware of people that offer plans, parts or a rocket belt that has not flown and tested because you could be killed."
At just $250,000 you get the following:

  1. A fully-tested, custom-made flying rocket belt, (duh!)
  2. This belt has been proved to be the most stable design and easier to fly
  3. A special machine to make our own unlimited supply of rocket fuel
  4. Hands-on training in the process and the equipment
  5. Flight training of 10 flights in your own rocket belt
  6. Maintenance and setup training
  7. 24/7 expert support
  8. Housing and food are included during training
Heck, I'd pay $250,000 just to be able to make my own unlimited supply of rocket fuel. Wouldn't the guys at NASA want to get a hold of this "special machine"?

Plus, it's made in Mexico (the home of space flight), so you know it's good.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Not too long ago there was a slight sign malfunction at one of our Avon Asian food eateries. Fortunately, no walls were eaten. However, I heard a rumor that customers DID nibble, ever so slightly, on the floor.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

New Job Title at Work

Looks like I got a promotion at work today. When the mail came this afternoon, I was pleased to learn that my job should be a lot more "FUN" from this day forward. Or, maybe it will be more FUN for everyone else--depending on how good I am at my job.

Call all the Churches

Well, I suppose it's a good time to bring up ANOTHER one of my former job experiences. This time, I'll pull from the Angry Gun-toting Talk Show Host producer job. Many years ago, I used to produce a syndicated radio talk show. As you can probably guess, the host of the show had a very short fuse and carried a 9mm Glock. He was also extremely greedy, selfish, immature, a womanizer, controlling, etc.--a real piece of work for someone that was idolized by a rather large group of adoring fans who were also convinced that Black Helicopters from the government were spying on them.

Desperate for attention and better ratings, he would purposefully say the most shocking things on the air to get attention (often at the expense of the person he was talking about or talking to). He also wanted his staff to work hard to build up the listener base. Now, there are many tried and true ways of going about this task, but we had to do what the host wanted to do because he was in control. So, one day, when we were brainstorming ideas to grow the show, he walked in and screamed, "Call all the churches!!!" Of course, how could we have missed that? Immediatly we opened the Yellow Pages to the church section and started dialing. Surely, all of these God-fearing churches would want to listen to an angry man spouting off on the radio for three hours every evening.

Actually, we didn't call a single church. We nodded in agreement and waited for him to leave so we could silently laugh. To this day, when I'm not sure what to do, I say to myself, "Call all the churches."

Monday, August 6, 2007

Robot Monkey

Whenever I'm at a job interview and I'm asked to describe myself in two words, I always say, "robot monkey," and then look at the interviewer smugly with one eyebrow raised. The way I figure it, a company that hires me after a stunt like this is a place I'd like to work.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Promoting Creativity

This past Christmas we decided to throw down a few bucks to purchase a digital camera for our 13-year-old. The fun thing about him having a camera is seeing what sort of pictures he takes (and knowing that you didn't have to spend money to get them developed!). This picture will give you an idea of what goes on in his head AND what goes on in our house. I'm not sure what it is or what it's supposed to do but I'm already working on a deal to sell it to the government--they'll buy anything.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Learning from Scissors - more from the Secret Warehouse

It's time to go back once again to one of my former places of employment--what I refer to as the "secret warehouse". This is the same place where I got the Uhhhh.....Larry? story from a few days ago. Truth be told, I'm sure I could write a book from this job alone--and then there was the other job working for a syndicated talk radio host--wow, but I digress.

If you're too lazy to click on the link above (I think it burns 1/16 of a calorie to click once) and you'd like to know what this job was, here's an excerpt from the post:

It was an online men's apparel store specializing in dress shirts and suits. 99% of the online stuff was handled by the owner who trusted practically NO ONE else with this. Thus, the rest of us were relegated to stocking, fulfilling orders, trying to look busy and helping with walk-in guests.
When I first started this job, it looked pretty promising (that's why we take these jobs, right?). I was hired because of my communications and marketing background (or so I thought) and the owner convinced three young smartypants from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to spend their summer break working in the secret warehouse (which had no air-conditioning!!!!). One day he sat us all down to go through one of his listen to me sound important* carefully arranged training sessions. These marathon rambling sessions would last for hours and you were expected to take notes on 3x5 cards using only a certain type of pen that was made available in the office. That's where this story is headed.

At some point in the lecture he corrected me on how to properly use scissors to cut the said 3x5 cards. I'm not making this up. It was his theory that we all needed to re-learn just about everything so we could be productive contributors to his little community and the world. I'm not one to stir up trouble, but I called him on this. I was pretty sure that at 28 years of age (that was almost ten years ago) I was incredibly proficient with scissors, breathing through my nose, and walking. It seemed like everything was ok and the rambling went on, as planned, for many more hours.

A few months later he--let's call him Morty just for fun--decided that he'd had it with me and my attitude. He spent four hours on a Saturday screaming at me while blaming me for just about every problem in the office and his personal life. At one point, he blamed me for the fact that he wasn't married and having kids (I later heard from another former employee that he pulled the same stunt with him.). Somewhere in the middle of all of this Morty referenced the now infamous "scissors incident" and that it was what initially set him off. Apparently, he had been stewing over it for months and it finally spilled out on that eventful Saturday in the secret warehouse.

By now you should all realize that Morty was not right. Although born into a prominent family and highly educated, he suffered greatly along the way and it made a serious impact on his mental state. By the grace of God (and I mean that), I didn't react the way Morty expected me (or wanted me) to. I stayed calm throughout the entire time and listened to him. I only spoke when I had to and allowed him to get it all out. Ironically, the last hour of that Saturday was spent in deep confession. He asked me to forgive him for the way he talked to me that day and the way he treated me in general. He promised to change and our relationship was different (better) from that day forward. Of course, I still left the secret warehouse for another job as soon as one came up, but when I did finally leave, it was a sad day for Morty. He took me out for sushi and lavished me with some very nice gifts and a cash bonus that really helped our young family.

But to this day, I don't look at a pair of scissors the same way.

(* I'm stealing Toni in the Midst's signature strike-through technique for this post.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Race Fans

Year after year I attend the Indianapolis 500 and other IndyCar events. I'm hooked. I love the cars, the speed, the competition...and the race fans.